English Polski
Vol 10, No 2 (2017)
Review paper
Published online: 2017-07-05

open access

Page views 577
Article views/downloads 4890
Get Citation

Connect on Social Media

Connect on Social Media

West Nile Virus in Poland — real threat in the light of the reports from the Conference “The current problems concerning bloodborne pathogens” (10 March, 2017, Warsaw)

Samanta Jowita Niczyporuk1
Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2017;10(2):54-62.


West Nile Virus (WNV) was first isolated in Europe in 1996 as the cause of meningitis and meningo-encephalitis as well as mass bird death. Since then it exists in Europe in endemic regions causing outbreaks of the disease. WNV belongs to Flaviviridae family, genus Flavivirus and is a neurotropic arbovirus that can be transmitted from birds to human by mosquitoes as the main virus vector. In 80% of cases the infection is mild with nonspecific symptoms flu-like symptoms. At highest risk of infection are elderly people (above 50) and immunodeficient patients;
meningitis evolves in 1 of 150 infected cases.

West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Additional routes of human infection have also been reported such as: blood transfusions, organ transplants, exposure in a laboratory setting (during necropsy of infected birds), from mother to baby during pregnancy.
Treatment is only symptomatic. The risk of WNV infection can be reduced by using mosquito repellents to prevent mosquito bites.


  1. Belgrave RL. Chapter 35. West Nile Virus Robinson's Current Therapy in equine Medicine (17th Edition. ; 2015: 152–154.
  2. Jurado-Tarifa E, Napp S, Lecollinet S, et al. Monitoring of West Nile virus, Usutu virus and Meaban virus in waterfowl used as decoys and wild raptors in southern Spain. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016; 49: 58–64.
  3. Semenza JC, Tran A, Espinosa L, et al. Climate change projections of West Nile virus infections in Europe: implications for blood safety practices. Environ Health. 2016; 15 Suppl 1: 28.
  4. Paz S. Climate change impacts on West Nile virus transmission in a global context. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015; 370(1665).
  5. Simonato M, Martinez-Sañudo I, Cavaletto G, et al. High genetic diversity in the Culex pipiens complex from a West Nile Virus epidemic area in Southern Europe. Parasit Vectors. 2016; 9: 150.
  6. De Filette M, Ulbert S, Diamond M, et al. Recent progress in West Nile virus diagnosis and vaccination. Vet Res. 2012; 43: 16.
  7. Pisani G, Cristiano K, Pupella S, et al. West Nile Virus in Europe and Safety of Blood Transfusion. Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy. 2016; 43(3): 158–167.
  8. Mentoor J, Lubisi A, Gerdes T, et al. Full-Genome Sequence of a Neuroinvasive West Nile Virus Lineage 2 Strain from a Fatal Horse Infection in South Africa. Genome Announcements. 2016; 4(4): e00740–16.
  9. Smithburn KC, Hughes TP, Paul JH, et al. A Neurotropic Virus Isolated from the Blood of a Native of Uganda 1. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1940; s1-20(4): 471–492.
  10. Platonov AE, Shipulin GA, Shipulina OY, et al. Outbreak of West Nile virus infection, Volgograd Region, Russia, 1999. Emerg Infect Dis. 2001; 7(1): 128–132.
  11. CD raport for 2008 West Nile Virus Activity in the United States (Reported to CDC as of December 16. ; 2008.
  12. Zeller HG, Schuffenecker I. West Nile virus: an overview of its spread in Europe and the Mediterranean basin in contrast to its spread in the Americas. Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2004; 23(3): 147–156.
  13. Rudolf I, Bakonyi T, Sebesta O, et al. West Nile Virus lineage 2 isolated from cluex modestus mosquitoes in the Chech Republic, 2013: Expansion of the European WNV endemic area to the north. Eurosurveillance 2014; 19: 31. [brak odnośnika w tekście].
  14. Ziegler U, Jöst H, Müller K, et al. Epidemic Spread of Usutu Virus in Southwest Germany in 2011 to 2013 and Monitoring of Wild Birds for Usutu and West Nile Viruses. Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2015; 15(8): 481–488.
  15. http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/west_nile_fever/West-Nile-fever-maps/pages/index.aspx..
  16. Glávits R, Ferenczi E, Ivanics E, et al. Co-occurrence of West Nile Fever and circovirus infection in a goose flock in Hungary. Avian Pathol. 2005; 34(5): 408–414.
  17. Pisani G, Cristiano K, Pupella S, et al. West Nile Virus in Europe and Safety of Blood Transfusion. Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy. 2016; 43(3): 158–167.
  18. Iwamoto M, Jernigan D, Guasch A, et al. Transmission of West Nile Virus from an Organ Donor to Four Transplant Recipients. New England Journal of Medicine. 2003; 348(22): 2196–2203.
  19. World Animal Health Information Database. (WAHID): 2016.
  20. Yu Li, Takeda K, Gao Y. Characterization of virus-specific vesicles assembled by West Nile virus non-structural proteins. Virology. 2017; 506: 130–140.
  21. Adrián Diaz L, Komar N, Visintin A, et al. West Nile virus in birds, Argentina. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008; 14(4): 689–691.
  22. Wheeler SS, Langevin SA, Brault AC, et al. Detection of persistent west nile virus RNA in experimentally and naturally infected avian hosts. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012; 87(3): 559–564.
  23. Tobler LH, Cameron MJ, Lanteri MC, et al. Interferon and interferon-induced chemokine expression is associated with control of acute viremia in West Nile virus-infected blood donors. J Infect Dis. 2008; 198(7): 979–983.
  24. Nagy A, Bán E, Nagy O, et al. Detection and sequencing of West Nile virus RNA from human urine and serum samples during the 2014 seasonal period. Arch Virol. 2016; 161(7): 1797–1806.
  25. OIE 2013. West Nile Disease, OIE Terrestrial Manual 2013, Chapter 2.1.20. Availableathttp://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Health_standards/tahm/2.01.20_WEST_NILE.pdf.
  26. Cui J, Zhao Y, Wang H, et al. Equine Immunoglobulin and Equine Neutralizing F(ab')₂ Protect Mice from West Nile Virus Infection. Viruses. 2016; 8(12).
  27. Morrey JD, Day CW, Julander JG, et al. Effect of interferon-alpha and interferon-inducers on West Nile virus in mouse and hamster animal models. Antivir Chem Chemother. 2004; 15(2): 101–109.
  28. www.nyhq.org/posting/rahal.html.
  29. Ng T, Hathaway D, Jennings N, et al. Equine vaccine for West Nile virus. Dev Biol (Basel). 2003; 114: 221–227.
  30. Monath TP, Seligman SJ, Robertson JS, et al. Brighton Collaboration Viral Vector Vaccines Safety Working Group (V3SWG). Live virus vaccines based on a yellow fever vaccine backbone: standardized template with key considerations for a risk/benefit assessment. Vaccine. 2015; 33(1): 62–72.
  31. Tkaczuk K, Lachert E, Sulkowska E, et al. Wirus Zachodniego Nilu a bezpieczeństwo przetoczeń krwi i jej składników. J Transf Med. 2013; 3: 69–84.
  32. Juricová Z, Pinowski J, Literák I, et al. Antibodies to alphavirus, flavivirus, and bunyavirus arboviruses in house sparrows (Passer domesticus) and tree sparrows (P. montanus) in Poland. Avian Dis. 1998; 42(1): 182–185.
  33. Wegner E, Hubalek Z. Parasitic, allergic and poisonous arthropods — medical and sanitary importance, in Proceedings of the 10th International Symposium on Materials, p. 51, Kazimierz Dolny, Poland. ; 2008.
  34. Kondrusik M, Ferenczi E, Zajkowska J, et al. Obecność przeciwciał reagujących z antygenem wirusa Zachodniego Nilu (WNV) wśród mieszkańców województw podlaskiego i świętokrzyskiego. Przegl Epidemiol. 2007; 61: 409–416.
  35. Hermanowska-Szpakowicz T, Grygorczuk S, Kondrusik M, et al. Zakażenie wirusem zachodniego Nilu. Przegl Epidemiol. 2006; 60: 93–98.
  36. Niczyporuk JS, Samorek-Salamonowicz E, Lecollinet S, et al. Occurrence of West Nile virus antibodies in wild birds, horses, and humans in Poland. Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015: 234181.
  37. Paz S. Climate change impacts on West Nile virus transmission in a global context. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2015; 370(1665).
  38. Benjelloun A, El Harrak M, Belkadi B. West Nile Disease Epidemiology in North-West Africa: Bibliographical Review. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2016; 63(6): e153–e159.